On 25 February 2010, the Hon Lindsay Tanner MP, Minister for
Finance and Deregulation, and Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Minister
for Employment Participation, announced the enhanced Indigenous
Opportunities Policy (IOP). Under the enhanced
IOP, procurement and grant policies are to be revised to maximise
indigenous employment, training and supplier opportunities.
The enhanced IOP will apply to Australian Government agencies
subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act
1997 (Cth) (FMA agencies) conducting projects in regions where
there are significant Indigenous populations and which are valued
at $5 million or more ($6 million or more for construction).
Where projects are to occur in regions where there are
significant Indigenous populations and meet the requisite financial
thresholds, FMA agencies will be required to:
consult with the Department of Education, Employment and
Workplace Relations (DEEWR), the Commonwealth
Indigenous Coordination Centres or equivalent Commonwealth Office,
and community council or group, as appropriate, in the planning
stages of those projects, and
in each procurement process under those projects, require each
tenderer to submit as part of their tender a plan for providing
training and employment opportunities to local Indigenous
communities and for the use of local Indigenous suppliers that are
small and medium enterprises.
As the IOP will apply to projects involving expenditure in
regions where there are significant Indigenous populations, FMA
agencies will need an understanding of what is meant by
"region where there is a significant Indigenous
population". DEEWR has published on its website at
www.deewr.gov.au/ iop a map setting out the areas with a
significant Indigenous population. These areas include: Darwin,
Jabiru, Katherine, Cape York, Rockhampton, Bourke, Dubbo, Wagga
Wagga, Queanbeyan, portions of the Sydney Indigenous Region and all
It has been suggested that parts of the IOP will commence on 1
July 2010 with full implementation by 1 January 2011. H owever, it
is currently unclear what parts of the IOP will be implemented on 1
July 2010 and what parts will be implemented by 1 January 2011. In
any case, all FMA agencies will need to consider how they will
revise their procurement and grant policies and processes to accord
with the enhanced policy. To assist with this process, D EEWR has
indicated that it will publish on its website information and
guidance for FMA agencies by June 2010. We will provide an update
on these guidelines in a future edition.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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